Sen. Fetterman’s Staff Gives Update on Health While Hospitalized

Sen. Fetterman’s Staff Gives Update on Health While Hospitalized
Sen. John Fetterman (D-Pa.) arrives for President Joe Biden's State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress at the Capitol in Washington on Feb. 7, 2023. (Carolyn Kaster/AP Photo)
Jack Phillips

Sen. John Fetterman (D-Pa.) is “on a path to recovery” after he was admitted to Walter Reed hospital for clinical depression, according to his office in an update issued Monday.

“We don’t have a lot to update folks with since there’s no real news to report except that John is doing well, working with the wonderful doctors, and remains on a path to recovery,“ a statement from Fetterman’s office stated. “He is visiting with staff and family daily, and his staff are keeping him updated on Senate business and news.”

“Our team is moving full speed ahead and working tirelessly for the people of Pennsylvania. Just last week we opened a new office in Erie and will be opening several more offices in the coming weeks,“ the statement said, adding that his recovery will be a ”weeks-long process.”

“We will be sure to keep folks updated as it progresses,” his staff said. “This is all there is to give by way of an update.”

Earlier in February, Fetterman checked himself into Walter Reed National Military Medical Center to seek treatment for clinical depression, which aides said became more severe in recent days. It came just days after he was hospitalized on Feb. 8 for lightheadedness.

His health has come under intense scrutiny after suffering a stroke last May, while numerous questions emerged about his ability to perform his duties as senator during his debate with Republican Mehmet Oz last year.

During campaign events, many noticed Fetterman’s speech had changed and often slurred or stumbled over his words. After taking office earlier this year, Fetterman has had to rely on closed caption display to assist him, according to the Senate Sergeant at Arms in a recent Time magazine report.

“I am proud of the work our team has done to support Senator Fetterman and am grateful to the many Sergeant at Arms professionals who worked quickly to develop and implement these innovative solutions,” Senate Sergeant at Arms Karen Gibson told the outlet in a statement in early February before Fetterman’s latest health woes.

During his first hospital stint this month, his spokesman Joe Calvello said that “initial tests did not show evidence of a new stroke, but doctors are running more tests and John is remaining overnight for observation.”

And on Feb. 15, his chief of staff, Adam Jentleson, said that he’s “experienced depression off and on throughout his life” but “only became severe in recent weeks.” He did not elaborate.

“Last night, Senator John Fetterman checked himself into Walter Reed National Military Medical Center to receive treatment for clinical depression. While John has experienced depression off and on throughout his life, it only became severe in recent weeks,” Jentleson said in a Feb. 16 statement.

Before his latest hospital stay, Fetterman voted in the Senate to confirm three judicial nominees, including Gina R. Méndez-Miró of Puerto Rico to be a U.S. District Judge for the District of Puerto Rico; Lindsay C. Jenkins of Illinois to be a U.S. District Judge for the Northern District of Illinois; and Matthew L. Garcia of New Mexico to be a U.S. District Judge for the District of New Mexico.

In the meantime, Fetterman’s wife, Gisele, claimed that she had to flee the United States to Canada to avoid what she called a “media circus” surrounding her husband’s hospitalization.

“I am not really sure how to navigate this journey but am figuring it out slowly,” she wrote last Friday on Twitter. “One week ago today when the news dropped, the kids were off from school and media trucks circled our home. I did the first thing I could think of—pack them in the car and drive.”

Fetterman added that she and her children “talked about lots of hard things, and how we will all have to face hard things. About the need to be gentle, with all and with ourselves.”

Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter with 15 years experience who started as a local New York City reporter. Having joined The Epoch Times' news team in 2009, Jack was born and raised near Modesto in California's Central Valley. Follow him on X:
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